Category Archives: Childbirth

Parenting, Christianity and Natural Deodorant – Sunday Surf

homemade deodorant

Image by Liz (perspicacious.org) via Flickr

I’m sharing what I’ve read and enjoyed this week. I hope you find something you enjoy below as well!

Recipe: DIY All-Natural Deodorant - “Along my journey towards a simpler, healthier lifestyle, I started coming across articles about health and beauty products that weren’t so healthy for you! So many of them have added chemicals, like aluminum in deodorants, for example.”

Cosmetic Alterations and Children - “When a person consciously chooses to have something done to their body for whatever reason, they are exercising their power over their appearance and that is their right. When someone else makes that decision for them, especially with the absence of medical need, it suddenly becomes questionable.”

AAP Surprises - “Here are a couple things that are not considered mainstream (but should be!) that the AAP, who is supposed to be the mainstream ‘go-to’ (especially for pediatricians) recommends.”

Washing Feet - ” I’m learning, daily, to look for the small and the humble – the quiet and the meek.  The foot-washing moments that point me toward the blessings of laying down self and striving to serve.  In lowering me, He elevates.”

Let’s Un-Process Our Children’s Food - “Although we call them ‘food’, processed foods are not readily recognized by the body.  They are seen as alien matter and our white blood cells will be on attack mode as soon as they enter our system.”

An Answered Prayer - “To not only witness but to be part of such an extraordinary group of families coming together to feed human milk to human babies (MY baby, at that!) makes my heart feel bigger. It has given me a joy I never knew existed.”

How I Stopped Saying No - “When I started researching different parenting methods and started being more mindful about what I say and do to and with my children, I realized that there are many ways to say “No” that are more effective and serve to strengthen the parent/child relationship, not weaken it.”

Facebook: The Scourge of Modern Parenting? - “So you’ll all have to excuse me if I fail to feel phenomenally guilty for my Facebook use. I have enough guilt on my plate already, and I refuse to accept any more.”

Just Not On The Same Page - “If I’m going to truly co-parent and live with the principles of gentle family living, then I’ve got to learn to trust him and let go.”

Reflections on our first year - “While hard to explain – or even justify – to the uninitiated, the steps we’ve taken to build a deep and secure bond with our daughter have transformed us as just much as they’ve helped to ground her. “

Read the Bible Every Day! - “Without daily focused time with the Lord, we will never see the victory and experience the joy in the Christian life that we have been born again to know.”

 

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Sunday Surf

I hope you enjoy this week’s Sunday Surf, the best of what I’ve read this week.

Babywise is Not the Bible. Parenting by the Law or by the Spirit? - “You do not have to answer to Gary Ezzo or anyone else. You do have to answer to God. You don’t need Babywise, you need the Holy Spirit.”

It’s OK, just not in public - “I don’t know why people get so weirded out about praying out loud in public. Maybe it’s the thought that faith is such a personal thing. Maybe it’s the fear of imposing one’s faith on another, one who may or may not want to be exposed to faith-matters.”

Try Again - “When we make mistakes, even if it comes to the point where he feels like spanking is his only option, that doesn’t mean he’s stuck parenting that way from then on.  We will encourage each other to “try again” to break the old patterns ingrained in us from how we were parented.”
 
Avoid Green Guilt and Do ONE Thing - “Let’s ease the anxiety and focus on what you can do.  How about the motto:  ‘Do One Thing.’ Doesn’t that sound simple?  Just ONE thing!”

Get Jealous? - “I want to be able to give a straightforward answer when asked if Sparky and Spunky are my only or if Sparky is my oldest. I don’t mince words about it for the most part, but it makes people very uncomfortable.”

via e-mumshop.com

The Gift of Milk- “I felt like I had a superpower. Nursing our babies is kind of magic. After years of nursing my now-weaned children, I still marvel at the basic premise: growing a baby simply on the nourishment that our own bodies provide!”

That Psychology Today Blog May Say Black Girls Are Ugly, But My Baby Knows Better - “I came across this poem, written by my beautiful, chocolate drop, Mari. She is, simply, amazing, and her words assure me that no matter what idiot tries to make her think she’s a lesser than, the work Nick and I are putting in to remind her she’s the straight fire is paying off.”

So What Exactly Is Instinctual Breastfeeding? And How Old Is Too Old? - “The problem, in my opinion, is simply the way America views breastfeeding.  Giving expectant moms a list of the benefits of breastfeeding is nice, but we need to start making it more socially acceptable.”

Early Parenting Choices: Sleeping and Nursing - “So a message to those parents that are confused about what the right choice is -  follow your gut.  If listening to your child cry makes you cry – pick him up and hold him. Do what you feel is the best and natural. Don’t let anyone else make these important choices for you.  Your child is depending on you and only you.” 
 
International Day of the Midwife - “And then, with relief and wonder I thought, “Thank goodness the births of my children were not like this.” And I felt terribly sorry for the many many women who experience their children’s births the same way I experience the dentist.”
 
Baby food. Excuse me while I get up on this soapbox…. - “Does this imply that other commercially marketed baby food is not real food? Absolutely. Because it’s not.”
 
It’s really quite simple… - “So when I ask myself if, as a parent and a wife, I am acting as Christ would act, I don’t need to look very far. He Loved me so much that He died rather than require me to face the punishment I deserved.” 
 
Top 10 Things Breastfeeding Advocates Should Stop Saying - “Breastfeeding is the biological norm.  Anything less is inferior by default. “Best” conjurs a notion of something that only a select few can achieve and sets formula up as the norm; we want to talk about breastfeeding as something that’s achievable for almost all moms.”
 
Husband vs. Children?- “I think that this whole child-centered vs. husband-centered premise is a false dichotomy that completely lacks balance and perspective. Why must it be an either-or situation to begin with?”
 

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Lots of Mommy Stuff Sunday Surf

Pottytime!

Image by tarabrown via Flickr

Here’s the good stuff I’ve read this week. Enjoy!

Getting Rid of the Garbage - “I honestly can’t believe how amazingly all this stuff works – I was kind of doing it begrudgingly at first, because I thought I should…but all of it has worked better than anything I was using before.”

EC From Birth - “Fourteen months in, I am convinced that reading books and formulating a plan is really not all that important. All one needs in order to EC from birth is a desire to communicate with their newborn, and a desire to meet all of their needs in a timely and sensitive manner. EC flows naturally from the connection we instinctually form with our babies, and that connection is all we really need.”

This Week’s Small Change – What To Do When Your Child Behaves Inappropriately - “Sometimes you just wish you had a simple techniqueas an option when your child, tween, or teen is doing something you do not approve of.”

My First Birth Story, Part 1 - Mikko, June 2007: Labor at Home and My first birth story, part 2 — Mikko, June 2007: A hospital transfer - “I could hardly believe such a thing existed outside of my body, and here he was, and I was seeing him for the first time, and he was going to be mine for all time now, and I was just now getting a glimpse of what he looked like.”

Zinc Oxide Sunscreens For Safe Sun Protection - “Many brands offer Zinc Oxide based sunscreens. Here are a few of the better options.”

Got Melke? - “Most women can breastfeed.  But if you live in a country with poor breastfeeding rates it is almost like preparing for a war.  You have to be confident that you WILL do this for your baby.  You have to educate yourself, and arm yourself with a lactation consultant and facts and figures to wave in the faces of your family and friends.  Because so many unqualified (or just plain ignorant) people will be ready and waiting with bad advice, misinformation and bottles of free formula.”

On Labels and Boxes and Trusting Your Gut - “Let’s start trusting ourselves and our instincts about what we should do as parents instead of judging ourselves for not fitting perfectly into a box or judging others for choosing a different kind of box. Let’s just parent our kids the best we know how, instead of spending so much time competing with each other.”

Mom Wars – Guilt, Grief, and Healing - “Being sensitive about a subject is a clear indication that there are some unresolved issues surrounding that experience that need to be dealt with. Often the ‘guilty’ feeling is actually other emotions in disguise like anguish, anger, betrayal, disappointment, etc.”

Gently Responding to an Aggressive Toddler - “As a parent we get to guide behavior when necessary towards what is appropriate. We can see each situation as a perfect opportunity to learn and guide. Nothing more, nothing less. This takes away the stigma of dealing with a child who is defiant.”

Talking and Listening - “Please, for the sake of building a strong rapport with your child, slow it down.  Let your child process what you have just said before you say something else.  And use non-verbal communication:  smile while you wait for an answer, tip your head attentively while you listen to that answer, and offer hugs to go with your acceptance of it.”

Real Food School Lunches III - “…my hope is that one more lunch post will help rejuvenate us all so even during these last few weeks we can continue to send our kids to school with healthy, creative, homemade school lunches that contain nothing other than real food!”

How To: African Babywearing - “It might seem a little scary the first time around, but it is really rather safe and millions of babies are worn that way from dusk til down without accidents. Once you get the hang of it, you might come to love it, as I do, as there is no strain on your shoulders or arms like other ways of carrying might involve.”

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Real Food, Cloth Diapering and Weaning – Sunday Surf

Freezing in Glass Jars

Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

Here is what I read this week that I found interesting! I think you will, too.

My Children are People - “Seeing my children as people helped me look at every interaction and think hard about how I would want to be treated in that situation.”

How to Freeze Food in Glass Jars - “The world is yours, of course – anything you can freeze can go in a glass jar…”

“I Can’t Afford the Start Up Costs of Cloth Diapering” - “I have a few issues with the “start up costs of cloth diapering” argument for not using cloth though, I have to tell you. It doesn’t make sense. Are we Americans so short sighted that we can’t see past a few months into the future?”

The Weaning Party“At first it was mostly about nourishment, and later mostly about comfort and closeness. Nursing gave us ample opportunities for physical closeness, and I think it brought us very close together emotionally too. It meant that even when we were apart, we were never far from each other’s thoughts.”

15-15 for Marriages with Young Children - “This 15 minutes of intentionally restorative time will have a cumulative effect in the week for both of you.”

Talking Real Food with Robyn O’Brien - “We need to demand that companies take out dyes, high fructose corn syrup and the like, by voting with our dollars. If we buy foods that do not contain unhealthy ingredients, O’Brien said, the industry will provide more of those options and the accessibility of healthy options for everyone will increase.”

Why I UCed - “Unassisted birth is not everyone’s choice, but I do feel it is a viable option for women who want it.”

Best Natural and Organic Face Soap? - “Besides the cosmetic benefits, it makes me feel really good to know that when Baby plants his frequent open mouth kisses all over my face, he’s not ingesting toxins.”

The Slippery Slope of Soap - “Unfortunately, many of the things we use as ‘soap’ are actually harsh detergents or chemical cocktails.”

I am Not Raising Obedient Children - “I don’t want children who obey without hesitation.  I want children who can think for themselves, recognize and listen to their feelings and instincts and respond appropriately.”

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


I Thought I Knew Mama: Reader Spotlight

I’m so happy to announce my first Reader Spotlight! Reader Spotlight is a new feature where I tell you all about an A Little Bit of All of It reader. I choose someone that is either a commenter, subscriber or Facebook fan to highlight.

Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama is the first to be featured! Charise has left comments here on the blog and is also a fan on Facebook. Her first comment here was on my review of the Eric Carle Wooden 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Box . Her favorite post here at A Little Bit of All of It is Raising an Obedient Child is not my Parenting Goal. She believes in nurturing curiosity and openness in her son. She says, “I do want to teach him to be kind, but that is not one and the same as obedient to me.”

Charise is a stay-at-home mom to a 10 month old son. Being a mom has taught her “that everything in my life – the highest of highs and the lowest of lows – was all worth it because it led me to what I am sure is the ultimate experience of my life: being this sweet boy’s mama. Being a mom over the course of the past 10 months has also taught me to savor every moment and to live in the present – something that was very difficult for me in life before Baby”. She wrote a beautiful poem about this you can check out at her blog where she tries to “capture my gratitude for my son’s impact on my ability to stay present.” She describes her parenting style as “instinctive, natural, loving, calm”.

Of course, motherhood is filled with surprises and Charise’s experience has been no different. For instance, she never intended to be a stay-at-home mom. She says,

“I have always been a very driven person, particularly with academic and career choices. Before I had Baby, I didn’t really understand why I would ever put my career on pause to be at home with a child, but now, thanks to getting laid off at 8.5 months pregnant, I can’t imagine not being with my son every single day. It is more fulfilling than I ever imagined anything in life could ever be.”

Instead of working out of the home as she had intended, her day is now filled with time spent outside (whether it’s walking, hiking or playing), reading to her book-obsessed son and spending time on her blog during her son’s naps. She also likes to have one activity outside of home like going to library story time, Water Babies, music class, enjoying a walk with friends or running errands.

Even though Charise and her husband were in the same class at Boston College and had several mutual friends, they didn’t actually “meet” until they randomly met eight years after graduation. They didn’t even realize their college connection until ten minutes into their first date! Of course, their friends couldn’t believe they never knew each other before. It was definitely a case of meeting at the perfect time in their lives!

When it was time for them to start a family, Charise knew she knew she wanted a natural birth. In order to facilitate her goals of no medication and minimal medical interventions, she was very dedicated to doing Hypnobabies for 4 months of pregnancy to prepare and was seeing midwives that supported natural birth. Unfortunately, Baby had other plans. She says,

“He was in the same breech position for the majority of my pregnancy. I did every natural intervention possible to try to turn him including acupuncture and moxibustion, but nothing worked so I ultimately had to have a C-section. As much as this was not the experience I wanted, I am at peace with it because I was still blessed to have my amazing, healthy boy, and that took precedence.”

She is very proud of her family and says they are her greatest accomplishment, a topic she recently blogged about. Her son inspires her to create the best possible world for him.

I Thought I Knew MamaCheck out these posts on her blog:

Besides being a mom, Charise loves to write, read, learn, hike, snowboard and travel. She also loves animals and has a passion for green living. You can find her at her blog, I Thought I Knew Mama, on Facebook and Twitter.


Sunday Surf

I haven’t done a Sunday Surf in a little while so a lot of those links are older and actually not from this past week but they are all great posts I’ve read since my last Sunday Surf. Hope you enjoy!

What Does it Mean to Really be Pro-Life?“As pro-lifers, let’s remember that saying “yes” to life brings new love, new potential, a new human being who can beat the odds to make his mark on the world.”

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best“I may not be saving lives or creating masterpieces but I’m touching hearts and funny bones and to me that’s the greatest thing in the world.”

Three Easy Tips for Natural Living“I know the thought of transitioning a lifestyle that you have lived for many years to that of a natural one can seem overwhelming, but…you don’t have to make lots of big changes all at once.”

Why Am I Still Nursing My Toddler? – “Is there anything more natural than a child nursing? No preservatives, no fakes, no add-ons, nothing artificial. Just a mom, a baby, and pure milk. It’s how babies have been fed for thousands of years. Throw us both on a deserted island with just a beach and a palm tree and we’ll still be nursing.”

Closet Clothes Makeover - “The goal when finished is for my closet to represent pieces I am truly wearing and not taking up space just to ‘look’ at.”

5 Doula Myths Debunked“I’ve noticed some common misconceptions about doulas and their role in birth.”

Food: Bad, Better, Best – “Since it is not always ideal or possible to make the most optimal food choice here’s my take on some of the options…”

Natural Cleaning…Without Vinegar“In transitioning to natural cleaners, many people are unsure of where to start, so I’ll share what has worked for me in the last couple years.”

What is Natural Parenting?“The best and most educational book we can read ON THIS EARTH is the Bible. In there you will find all your answers to parenting and the like. When you read it and put the Word in your heart, you will open yourself up for the Lord’s instruction… if you ask him about parenting decisions, he will guide you! “

10 Best Tricks for Fooling Yourself to Work“You may not follow all of its tips, but one or two will almost certainly motivate you to get back to work.”

Parenting to Sleep: A Spiritual Discipline“From the first day I met my precious daughter, God gave me a mama heart that told me to respond to her cries and soothe her to sleep rather than leave her to cry alone and give up when she realizes no one is coming to help her.”

Looking at That Time of the Month in a Whole New Way – Guest Post - “In many cultures around the world, the idea of menstrual seclusion was an acceptable practice, surrounded by elaborate rituals. But rather than a punishment, it was often considered a celebration of the power of women, as well as a chance for women to gather in quiet and rest – a rare opportunity in many cases.”

Why Tea Gives You a Sense of Well Being - “When we are sick our immune systems need a bit of a boost, especially at the onset of a cold. Tea is packed with antioxidants that help our immune systems fight off different viruses that love to make us feel terrible.”

Resisting Rewards: When Treats Turn Sour“Worse, plenty of studies have shown that kids who are rewarded actually lose interest in the activity they’re being rewarded for, from preschoolers making art to older kids reading. Yikes!”

Five Reasons to Consider Keeping Chickens – “Before I became a chicken owner, I would have never guessed that a flock of chickens can be some of the best entertainment around! It is amazing how quickly they develop personalities and preferences.”

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Epidurals, Fruit Juice and Household Toxins – Sunday Surf

Babies and Birth

And This is What It’s Like… - “I think it’s really important for those who have loved ones struggling with infertility to understand, at least on the surface, what it’s like.”

Ask Me About E’s Birth When You Have a Few Hours…. - “It is about the hours upon hours I sat with my midwives preparing mentally, physically and emotionally for his birth.  It is the almost 2 days I labored with him.  And yes, it is also the cesarean delivery.  And the triumph I felt afterwards. “

My (Birth) Partner: How I Know That Some Men DO Belong in a Primary Support Role - “…he was a fantastic doula. Top-notch. And we feel infinitely closer now, having shared that experience, having been together with my body in that way.”

Epidurals: A Feminist Issue - “At the risk of sounding outrageous, it is my belief that the way that we approach birth in our society–uninformed, relying on the experts, medicated, numbed, unable to walk, unable to feel our body’s urges and power, fearful, unsupported, and ultimately perhaps cut open–is a major contributor to the oppression of women today, and a powerful force in silencing our voices.”

Christianity

Where Were You, Jesus? - “And another voice whispered, ‘I understand. I too watched a Son suffer‘.”

Food

The Juicy Details About Fruit Juice - “Did you know that one glass of apple juice can contain as much sugar as fourteen Pixy Stix?!”

Cleaning

Nontoxic, Homemade Oven Cleaner – Will It Work? - “I’m 36 years old. Would you like to know how many times I’ve cleaned an oven? Never.”

Moving Away From Household Toxins – an Update - “As we’ve made these changes in the kitchen, I have been getting a little shocked at how much fake food we’ve consumed without question…it’s becoming quite disturbing to me.”

Parenting

Your Children are Listening - “Don’t be surprised if a child acts upon what they are exposed to. Because these ‘cool’ songs, make it seem like the ‘cool’ thing to do.”

Being Baby Led – Twin Style - “It can be very easy to lump them together as ‘the twins’. But they aren’t a pair. They are 2 seperate beings that just happened to inhabit my womb at the same time with their own needs and body clock.”

I Never Wanted to be “THAT” Mom - “The thing is, the mom I thought was so cooky actually has a few things going for her!  She is informed.  She doesn’t just blindly follow the pack doing what everyone else does because, well, that’s what everyone else does.”

Thank God For All I’ve Missed - “My time will come. It will, because I’m determined to reach my dreams. I have a fire in my soul and I have no doubt that I’ll one day share that with the world. But that time is not now. Now is my time to give to my family.”

Check out Adventures in MommyhoodAuthentic ParentingBaby Dust DiariesChildOrganics,Cloth Diapering MamaFabulous Mama ChroniclesHobo MamaI Thought I Knew MamaMama and Baby LoveMama EveMaman A DroitMomma JorjeMonkey Butt JunctionMotherhood MomentsMy Inspired BabyNavelgazing, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


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